Maximizing The Benefits Of Program Sembako During The Covid-19 Pandemic

Key Messages

  • The Covid-19 pandemic not only affects health but also social and economic conditions.
  • The issuance of Government Regulation in Lieu of Law (Perppu) No. 1/2020 provides a new instrument to minimise the social and economic impact of Covid-19 pandemic.  
  • The government has tried to reduce household expenditures, meet the community’s food needs, and improve nutrition by increasing the number of Staple Food Card (Program Sembako) recipients and the benefit value. 
  • A rapid evaluation of Program Sembako 2019 showed that, on average, a beneficiary family (Keluarga Penerima Manfaat: KPM) had to pay more to purchase Non-cash Food Program (Bantuan Pangan Nontunai: BPNT) rice than to purchase premium- or medium-grade rice in the market. 
  • There is a direct relationship between KPM satisfaction with the quality of Program Sembako rice and its affordability in comparison with the market price.
  • To maximise the effectiveness of Program Sembako during the Covid-19 pandemic, program organisers must ensure that the price is affordable, that the staple food’s quality is better, implementation is done in a timely manner, and that the program’s staple foods are available in sufficient quantity.